Kaiser must disclose more financial, insurer data under new California law

California's governor signed into law a bill that updates healthcare price transparency and disclosure requirements for Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newson signed SB 343 into law on Sept. 5. The law, authored by state Sen. Richard Pan, MD, D-Sacramento, removes provisions that allow Kaiser to report more limited data to state regulators compared to other health plans and healthcare facilities.

Under the new law, Kaiser will be required to disclose financial data and reasons for planned increases to its health insurance plan rates. Specifically, it would eliminate alternative reporting requirements for a health plan that exclusively contracts with no more than two medical groups, or a health facility receiving a large portion of its revenue from associated comprehensive group practice prepayment plans. Under the new law, these entities will need to report information like any other health plan or provider.

California requires hospitals to report revenue by payer and by revenue center for individual hospitals. A fact sheet accompanying the law when it was introduced in February said Kaiser hospitals can report costs and revenues as a group. This means revenue is reported as a group for either Kaiser Permanente Southern California or Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

In an emailed statement to Becker's, Kaiser said: "Kaiser Permanente has always been very transparent with the state and followed all disclosure laws. Under SB 343, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) will receive even more detailed financial data from Kaiser Permanente. We look forward to working with OSHPD to implement the new law."

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